The Moral Instinct: an Exploration of Univeral Morality in Humans and Non-Human Speci

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    The Moral Instinct: an Exploration of Univeral Morality in Humans and Non-Human Species | Serendip's Exchange

     
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    Web exclusive: 'The emerging moral psychology' by Dan Jones | Prospect Magazine April 2008 issue 145

    "The project is casting its net as wide as possible: the MST can be taken by anyone with access to the internet. Visitors to the “online lab” are presented with a series of short moral scenarios—subtle variations of the original Footbridge and Trolley dilemmas, as well as a variety of other moral dilemmas. The scenarios are designed to explore whether, and how, specific factors influence moral judgements. Data from 5,000 MST participants showed that people appear to follow a moral code prescribed by three principles:

    • The action principle: harm caused by action is morally worse than equivalent harm caused by omission.

    • The intention principle: harm intended as the means to a goal is morally worse than equivalent harm foreseen as the side-effect of a goal.

    • The contact principle: using physical contact to cause harm to a victim is morally worse than causing equivalent harm to a victim without using physical contact."

    or

    "It is not enough to ask, ‘Will my act harm other people?’ Even if the answer is No, my act may still be wrong, because of its effects on other people. I should ask, ‘Will my act be one of a set of acts that will together harm other people?’ The answer may be Yes. And the harm to others may be great." Derek Parfit
     

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